Monday, 28 January 2013

Taming the Dragon

Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11


In his blog Moments with You, Family Life President Dennis Rainey offered the following:

It can lie. It can gossip. It can slander. It can also murmur and complain. It can manipulate and flatter. It can tear down. It can paint itself in nice words, even while cutting someone to ribbons.

My friend Joe Stowell calls it "the dragon in our dentures." Our tongue. It can truly be deadly.

On the other hand, when that "dragon" is under the power of the Holy Spirit, when we are daily training it to be submitted to Christ’s control and available for His use and purposes, He can transform it into an instrument that delivers encouragement.

Dennis then went on to recount how he approached someone at church and paid the individual a huge compliment, to which the recipient was understandably pleased.

Just as the tongue can wreak great havoc it can also be used for calming someone who is experiencing great difficulty or encouraging someone who needs a lift or supporting someone who needs to feel as though they are not alone.

I suspect that in marriages that are struggling the tongue has been a major culprit and where marriages are thriving it is a reasonable guess that the tongue has been used to express appreciation, encouragement and/or support.

It is my sad perception that there are many marriages that occupy the “land in between”.  These marriages are neither struggling nor are they thriving.  In these instances the tongue can play a major role.  In these marriages one of the partners might think of something that is up-lifting to say to their spouse but they don’t.  The husband may think his wife is looking particularly attractive but says nothing.  The wife might regard her husband’s decision as being particularly astute but fails to mention it.

There could be a simple rule we could each adopt as we approach a new year.

If something good comes to mind say it immediately.  If something bad comes to mind, hold your tongue.

This rule should be applied in all relationships beginning with our spouse, children, neighbors, etc.  It was just yesterday that my wife recounted how pleasant a check out person had been but neglected to tell her.  I suggested that the next time she was in that store that she should by all means compliment the person but also to go the extra mile and tell her boss.

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